Crazy like a prophet

Ecophyto map. Work or live in good health? The unbearable dilemma for farmers

Does love of the profession make you blind? This is the question I ask myself when I learn that some of the farmers (the large cereal growers) have obtained from the government the suspension of the Ecophyto 2030 strategy. This plan, which was the subject of a national consultation , aims to halve the use of pesticides in France by this deadline (compared to the 2015-2017 period). For what? To protect our drinking water resources, save biodiversity in complete decline, but also preserve the health of farmers.

I laugh when I hear about “punitive ecology” when the first to be punished by the current agricultural model are the land workers in almost daily contact with “phytos”. Parkinson’s disease, certain blood cancers and prostate cancer are over-represented among these farmers (according to the Agrican study, 2020). Some die, others continue to courageously run their farm with disabling pathologies.

Written by two sociologists after ten years of investigation and published in the midst of peasant anger, Poisoned Agriculture shows the ambivalence of farmers in the face of these “phytos” which allow them to produce, at a high price for their health. A handful of them created the Phyto-Victimes association in 2011, to recognize the harm suffered and denounce the lies of companies regarding the safety of products. But today an entire nation must mobilize to get farmers out of the unbearable dilemma: work or live in good health.

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